Man trapped in manhole rescued

Man trapped in manhole rescued
(Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff)
Morris County authorities. (Source: KLTV staff)
Morris County authorities. (Source: KLTV staff)

MORRIS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A harrowing experience for an East Texas man as he's walking home early Saturday morning, and falls into an open manhole.

The man was trapped in the manhole for seven hours along FM 130, just north of Daingerfield, and worried the manhole was going to become his tomb.

Recovering from his injuries at his Naples home, it was Saturday morning around 5 a.m. that Don Snyder was walking home along a stretch of rural road when he fell into a hole.

"Nothing in my way. Walking along, and I d ropped like a hot rock. Straight down. Off those walls all the way down. Got tangled up in some barbed wire and cut up," he says.

Though the manhole is covered and blocked now, the morning it happened the manhole cover had been moved, and with one step, Snyder found himself 15 feet down in a tight cylinder.

"I thought to myself what is this? What is this doing here like this? I could see it was dark, I was scared," Don says.

It was pitch dark. It's before the sun comes up, and 15 feet down Snyder is wondering 'does anybody even know he's there'?

With no way to climb out, he did the only thing he could. Make noise.

"I was yelling at the top of my lungs for hours," he says. And he wasn't alone.

"I look down and there's a big water moccasin coming out. There was a frog down there jumping around and he was trying to get that frog," says Snyder.

He says he scraped gravel off the wall and threw it at the snake, driving it away. But Don thought maybe his time was up.

"I had reached a point where I had just about given up. I wanted to tell my kids, I'm sorry," Don says.

But then, a stroke of luck.

"A jogger came passing by and could hear someone yell help me, and the jogger thought it was coming from a nearby house and reported it," says Morris County Sheriff's Office Sargent Herschel Stroman.

Within minutes, police, deputies and fire officials showed up with a special ladder for a rescue operation.

"I may make it out of there and I may not. I was beginning to wonder. I'm glad I'm alive to speak about it," Don says.

Snyder was briefly hospitalized and received several stitches and staples to close his wounds.

He hopes to meet and thank the jogger who heard his cries and reported it.

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